Boucher Trail and Palomar Mountain Loop

MODERATE 24 reviews

Boucher Trail and Palomar Mountain Loop is a 8.9 mile loop trail located near Aguanga, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

8.9 miles 1797 feet Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

off road driving

trail running

walking

forest

views

wildlife

no dogs

$8 parking fee The trail is uphill until you reach Boucher Lookout Tower. It breaks at the tower which contains a picnic area, an observation deck, restroom and water. We were invited up by the Ranger (unexpected) and the view was amazing. The volunteer Ranger told us all about his equipment, job and filled us in on some history. Two thumbs up for cool Rangers! Boucher Trail picks up again on the other side of the lookout tower (trail marked) and heads downhill for quite a ways. Be warned that what goes down must eventually come up. The trail ends at Nate Harrison Grade Road. Across the road you'll see Adams Trail. We elected to travel back to the car and relocate to Doane Pond based on the Rangers advice that continuing on Adams Trail will end with a huge uphill trek back to the parking location. Nate Harrison Grade road was mostly an uphill walk all the way back. An alternative to Nate Harrison Grade road would be to take Boucher Road from the lookout tower. This would cut out a significant part of Boucher trail but would mean less uphill walking on the way back.

14 days ago

Trail was great, not too difficult. The best part was all the cool trees . The part I didn't like was the part of the French trail where it goes to a resting spot between 2 waterfalls was closed and they could of had a sign or could of said something when we checked in because it was 5 miles into the hike.

3 months ago

Great trail. I'd rate it mostly easy with a couple sections of moderate. it was 45° when I started which was perfect. I saw zero other hikers which made it even better. just like another reviewer stated, this route is a combo of about 5 different trails, all well marked. grand vistas, meadows, forest. this one has it all. the mountains to the Northeast were all snow covered. Also, I saw 10 deer on the hike. The last group was 7 deer and they could care less I was there. I was about 30 feet away from them for 10 minutes. Very enjoyable day.

4 months ago

4 months ago

I don't know yet because I am about to go there you hurrr

hiking
6 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail, definitely moderate when connected to other trails in the park. Mostly down hill, be sure to stop and gaze out over the view point fire watch tower.

hiking
6 months ago

Stunning views and nice cardio workout! You'll need to be in moderately good shape for this trail. Be sure to bring snacks, lots of water and take breaks often. The trail path displayed in AllTrails is incorrect and is actually several trails, not just Boucher. Pick up a map at the Ranger station entering the park.

Directions to trailhead: Take 76 to S Grade Rd (S6), Turn left x2 onto State Park Rd (S7), follow it till it ends at Palomar Mountain State Park. Pay $8 fee at the Ranger station located at the gate, Park in the picnic area right past the Ranger station on the left. Walk down the road heading West, past the employee residence you'll see a split in the road and the trail head clearly marked.

The trail is uphill until you reach Boucher Lookout Tower. It breaks at the tower which contains a picnic area, an observation deck, restroom and water. We were invited up by the Ranger (unexpected) and the view was amazing. The volunteer Ranger told us all about his equipment, job and filled us in on some history. Two thumbs up for cool Rangers!

Boucher Trail picks up again on the other side of the lookout tower (trail marked) and heads downhill for quite a ways. Be warned that what goes down must eventually come up. The trail ends at Nate Harrison Grade Road. Across the road you'll see Adams Trail. We elected to travel back to the car and relocate to Doane Pond based on the Rangers advice that continuing on Adams Trail will end with a huge uphill trek back to the parking location. Nate Harrison Grade road was mostly an uphill walk all the way back.

An alternative to Nate Harrison Grade road would be to take Boucher Road from the lookout tower. This would cut out a significant part of Boucher trail but would mean less uphill walking on the way back.

Make sure you can easily identify Poison Ivy and Oak before heading to Palomar Mountain. I only spotted a little on the trails but it's growing all over the road sides and can be brushed against if you don't pay attention.

hiking
6 months ago

7 months ago

7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

The day I did this we only hiked out to the old building and back. Didn't pay any attention to the length or time. What we did was very nice. I do remember hearing an odd scary sound in the distance while we were just a few yards from the parking lot. Not at all crowded during week and in the spring.

10 months ago

Fun well- marked trail with clear paths. Has some difficult areas but doable for 50+ crowd. Took 3:20 to complete the 6.8 mile portion, (didn't do the nature trail). Fair amount of poison ivy in places. Good workout.

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike and amazing views. The trails intersect and take you through forest and meadows. Well maintained and well marked. Not crowded. Great hike and one that we will definitely do again.

hiking
11 months ago

1 year ago

No dogs on trails in California state parks. Just tame mule deer that people feed and have no natural predators.

hiking
1 year ago

This is a beautiful trail that is moderate in difficulty and passes through a variety of different landscapes from oak groves to grassy meadows. This time of year there is some snow on the ground so the trail can get mushy and icy in the lower spots. Overall, its not very rocky so the hiking is easier but the the elevation change is pretty significant along the whole trail. Best bet is to park either at the pond and start walking from there or to park in the parking lot to the left just past the pay station. Head up to boucher hill for a spectacular view to the west. Saw plenty of birds and a few deer.

hiking
1 year ago

Beautiful trails! I hiked this last week and the weather was perfect! After entering the Palomar Mountain State Park I parked in south parking lot just past the fee box ($8) at the entrance. The 4x4 post trail head markers were not easy to find so I walked back to the entrance and grabbed a trail map. I found the trails maintained well and nothing very difficult to navigate.

hiking
1 year ago

Hiked up to historic fire lookout tower via Boucher Hill trail from the group camp ground in the late afternoon to catch the sunset . Great views even with a little haze.

hiking
1 year ago

Amazing views! The trails were great though the one towards the historical site came short as half way on Weir,the trail got narrow with bushes. We saw a few deers roaming around but what made us turn around was a rattle not once but twice. I may just carry a stick next time. Besides that,it was amazing. We saw blue jays,butterflies,squirrels..the pond is very beautiful and there is a creek. Very peaceful and would come back again. I highly recommend putting on sunscreen with insect repellant as flies will be bugging you parts of the trails.

hiking
1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago